Two council seats are up for re-election for the City of Spring Valley. Incumbents Bill Bires and Jeff Vehrenkamp have each re-filed for their seats. Mayor Jim Struzyk is also running again for mayor.

Neither Vehrenkamp nor Bires responded to our candidate questionnaire, but Struzyk did and his responses follow.

What has motivated you to file for this office? If you are an incumbent, please note how many years you have served and why you wish to continue.

Struzyk: I have served on the Spring Valley City Council for the past 16 years. I would like to continue as mayor because of all the changes that are taking place, especially regarding no more homestead credit.

Name one characteristic you have that has enabled you or would enable you to be a valuable member of this office. Please explain.

Struzyk: I have the experience and I know how to get along with people. I believe I am a good listener and I always try and do my best to help out when people come to me with problems in regard to the city.

Top priority: If elected, what is your top priority for 2013 and the next four years?

Struzyk: My top priority is to keep the tax rate as low as possible with the Market Value Housing Credit gone; secondary, keep Spring Valley growing and a safe place to raise a family.

Biographical information: Briefly summarize your personal background and qualifications.

Struzyk: Along with my 16 years on the Spring Valley City Council, I have also been president of the Root River Country Club, Kiwanis and the SoutheasternMinnesota League of Municipalities and also served on the Governor's Task Force for Urban Development. Prior to moving to Spring Valley, I held the position of fire chief and assistant fire chief in St. Cloud Township, along with serving on the township board and city council.